Like everything else, being a natural woman comes with it’s own set of pros and cons. Personally, I feel that the majority of cons have nothing to do with my hair, and everything to do with people’s comments and actions towards me because of my hair.
There are quite a few instances where people will come up to me and ask me questions like “how do you get your hair to look like that” or “Wow, it’s so curly…can I touch it?”
And to me, these questions are completely odd, but understandable because if someone sees something that is totally new to them, it may very well spark an interest. Maybe they can’t touch it, but general curiosity and questions about my hair regimen are completely fine!
Here’s where people got me messed up: family, friends, and co-workers alike, have all overstepped boundaries in one way or another when it comes to both my hair and the hair of other women. Sometimes it’s okay to give your two cents, but it’s not okay when you are being generally negative or condescending with your opinions and advice.
I think offering positive, thoughtful, and helpful input is the best way to go—and sometimes, we just don’t get it. Here are 5 things I absolutely can’t stand hearing as a natural woman.
“When are you going to relax your hair?”
Before I did a mini-chop, I transitioned for two whole years; and during these two years, people would repeatedly ask me when I was going to relax my hair. It started off as a genuine question, then turned into something else once they noticed me starting to embrace my curls.
After my hair had completely grown out and I had only two inches of relaxed ends left, it turned into a passive aggressive way of telling me I need to relax my hair. By the time I felt confident enough with my hair length to go ahead and cut off my ends, my mom had already sat me down, looked me in my eyes and said, “Look. You need a perm”.
Of course, I was annoyed. After telling my family and friends a million times that I was going natural, they still felt like it was a good idea to push me into getting a relaxer. In a way, I felt like they thought that their opinion of my hair was more important than my own wants and needs. The comment alone isn’t a big deal–it’s actually something I can (and do) brush off–but it was the lack of respect for my decision to go natural that bothered me the most.
Have you guys ever told the people around you that you were going on a diet, and then they began policing everything you ate? You’ve already lost 10 lbs by doing what you’re doing, but they are just dying to let you know that the bagel you’re about to eat has too many carbs for you. That’s what unsolicited advice about my hair feels like to me.
I worked my tail off coming up with the perfect regimen and routine for myself only for people to tell me what I’m doing is wrong because it didn’t work for them.
I would hear comments like “you’re not going to use coconut oil* on your hair…right? It’s going to ruin it” and “are you REALLY going to run miles today? I mean all that sweat isn’t good for your type of hair!” There were moments when I wanted to yell, “OH MY GOSH, WHO ASKED YOU?” but I didn’t want to overreact.
Needless to say, it still drove me crazy. Maybe it was because I personally don’t like to get in people’s business and offer my two cents without being asked, or possibly because the advice was….well, you know—awful!